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UCLA: A Good Neighbor for K–12 Education

An elementary school student raises her hand in a classroom, waiting to be called upon by her teacher.
Mann UCLA Community School in South Los Angeles will prepare middle- and high-school students for success in college, careers, and civic life.

UCLA continues to earn global recognition for setting academic standards in higher education while increasing access for students of all backgrounds. Closer to home and no less a part of the university’s mission are its efforts in greater Los Angeles to raise the bar for education in grades K–12.

Supporting Success in South L.A.

The newest endeavor in local learning, Mann UCLA Community School in South Los Angeles, launches in the 2017–2018 school year. A unique district agreement modeled on the Pico-Union/Koreatown Community School — where college-acceptance rates have tripled since its opening — UCLA’s second Community School will also remain public, preparing middle and high school students in South L.A. for success in college, careers, and civic life. Eventually, the school will cover the full K–12 continuum, offering resources ranging from academic enrichment to physical and mental health services.

Sharing Academic and Philanthropic Resources

Collaborations among multiple departments and units are vital to this vision. Graduate School of Education & Information Studies (Ed & IS) scholars have worked with Horace Mann Middle School students, parents, and teachers since 2015, strengthening mentorships, tutoring, STEM, athletics, arts, health, and parent engagement programs at the school.

These programs rely not only on the university but also on philanthropic support. Recently Carnegie Corporation of New York granted UCLA $1.5 million for partnership schools like Horace Mann, and the California Community Foundation gave $100,000 to enhance Horace Mann’s math and parent education programs. Over the next few years, UCLA will seek friends to invest in after-school and summer enrichment activities, field trips, computer science courses, career seminars, athletic equipment, music and arts education, and health services — all efforts that will improve the lives of children and families in the South L.A. neighborhood.

Generational Change

Beyond the school’s fall opening, such donors’ dedication to K–12 education will further UCLA’s mission for future generations of Angelenos. As Dr. Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, dean of Ed & IS, says: “With this second community school, UCLA is emphasizing its long-term commitment to improving education in the community.”

Published June 2017

Student speaks at podium as an administrator smiles nearby.

Chelsea Salgado, an eighth grader at Horace Mann Middle School, welcomes Wasserman Dean Marcelo Suárez-Orozco of UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies.

Principal shares a laugh with students gathered at the foot of the stairs.

The principal and students share a laugh as Mann UCLA Community School prepares to open in the 2017–2018 school year.

Youth in matching Bruin shirts sit on the grass, shaded by umbrellas.

The community school builds on existing partnerships, such as this Mann Summer Institute field trip.

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